Let me ask you this – where did you sleep last night? If you lose a kilo – it’s because your diet is working or you had a great PT session – not because you have no food? Go look in the mirror – is your face cut and bruised because of a violent partner? I travel a bit and seeing other countries, you truly and really appreciate how much we do live in a lucky country. For you reading this blog, you can do so because you have a computer or mobile phone and because you have access to wifi. We complain when it’s slow, or that we’ve put on a kilo and yes, at times we have a bit of bad news – such as when we lose a job, or a customer doesn’t pay us. However, on the whole, we all have pretty great and amazing lives. Do we truly appreciate what we have?
However, not everyone has it as good as we do. There is a bevy of community groups, charities and not for profit organisations out there to help those in need. Some are providing beds for the homeless, others supporting those in crisis, or providing protection against domestic violence. There are groups for disabilities, local chambers, philanthropic foundations, charities, churches and much more.
So back to my initial question:
Why should we give to charities?
• First and foremost, because we are incredibly lucky and it’s the right thing to do. Whether you believe in karma (what goes around, comes around) or simply that because we are all so fortunate, let’s help those who are not. It’s a pretty good feeling to know you’re making a difference to someone else’s life in a very positive way.
• Donations (to registered charities) are tax deductible. You’re getting a tax advantage by spending the money, so it’s a little bonus.
• It can be often improving our community. Some charities help those outside our region; others are benefiting our local community. By helping our local community, we are making our local community a better place to live, work and play.
• You’re setting an example to your children. Selfish and self-absorbed are probably not the traits you want your kids to learn. By demonstrating charity and giving like mannerisms, we teach our kids some important life lessons.
• Being involved in other organisations may lead to new friendships, learning new skills, expanding your opportunities or quite simply, getting you to spend less time in front of the TV screen.
So how can you help?
There are usually three ways we can give to charities:
• Services in kind.
May I recommend you think about what you’re interested about. It may start with your children’s sporting club or school P&F (that’s where I started) but it can expand to other organisations. Find a cause you believe in and then reach out. There are many ways that you can help as I outlined above (donations, time, services) and remember that by going in a group, you don’t have to give a million dollars or a million hours. See what they need, be clear about what you can offer, and if it’s a good fit – then ask to come on board. As someone who is involved in a few groups, I can say that almost any organisation is going to be hugely appreciative of any and all help which can be offered.
It’s interesting that business owners often do not give to charities until they have ‘made it’. When asked to donate, we think about the latest Xbox our child wants, or the new shoes we have our eye on and think – nah, I can’t afford it at present. When asked to help out (time or services in kind) we say “sorry, I’m too busy”. We are all busy. I operate 3 businesses and am on the Board or Committees of four different groups – I know busy. I’m not suggesting you have to do four, but if every person helped out and just did one thing … that help would make such a huge difference.
Be that person who reads this and thinks, yes, I want to make a difference and takes action. If you’re in the Redlands and stuck for some ideas, let me know. I know many organisations, and many people I can connect you to – who could absolutely love some extra help. Here are the other business services that I offer.
Go on – help make a positive difference to someone’s life. : )
Read this article Critical Things Charities & NFPs Should Be Doing.